Casino Night helps feed cancer patients

JACKSON, WY — Feel like James Bond, but be a different kind of hero – the kind that helps local cancer patients and their families through difficult times.

Casino Night, hosted by St. John’s Hospital Foundation, is a night of dinner, cocktails, and bingo. But the best part is that 100% of the proceeds will support Meals with a Mission, which provided meals to local cancer patients and their families. Join the party Thursday, April 25 at the Elks Lodge.

Last year, Meals with a Mission provided approximately 500 complimentary, nourishing meals to St. John’s patients who are undergoing treatments for cancer. Meals are made using recipes from the American Cancer Institute and other cancer-specific resources and incorporate organic ingredients when possible. Patients and their families select three- to four-course meals from a menu of items.

“Meals with a Mission was such a help to our family,” said Alia Harland. “Juggling two young busy kids with working full time and receiving treatment for breast cancer was challenging. Having a healthy and delicious meal took one thing off of my plate during our difficult time. It truly helped me focus on my treatment, family, and recovery.”

Joni Upsher, volunteer services coordinator at St. John’s Medical Center, founded Meals with a Mission in 2015. Joni is a former restaurant owner and high school culinary arts teacher. Her husband Albert died from cancer in 2013. Joni’s love of healthy cooking and her desire to help cancer patients inspired her to start Meals with a Mission. “This program provides comfort and good nutrition to patients and their families,” Upsher said. “It’s a small gift, but one that makes a difference. I am grateful for the volunteers who make it all happen.”

Each week, a group of 10 regular volunteers prepare the meals in The Elks Lodge commercial kitchen and then deliver them. These volunteers logged over 600 hours last year.

Thanks to the dedicated volunteers, Meals with a Mission operates with an annual budget of $4,000 to cover the cost of healthy ingredients.

Doors open for Casino Night at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. The cost is $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. All are welcome to attend.

To inquire about Casino Night, or to make a gift to support Meals with a Mission, please contact Mary Katherine King at 307.739.7517 or [email protected].

Meals with a Mission is supported by the St. John’s Hospital Foundation and the St. John’s Medical Center oncology department.

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